One Santa Monica app maker is trying to make it a whole lot easier for TV, music and sports fans to legally share their favorite clips and highlights with friends online.
And venture capitalists are betting they’ll be able to pull it off.
That company is Santa Monica’s Whipclip, which has just raised a $40 million in a Series C financing round led by New York’s Eminence Capital, which has also taken a seat on Whipclip’s board.
Downtown Los Angeles VC firm Greycroft Partners also participated in the round, as did talent agency William Morris Endeavor and law firm Ziffren Brittenham, two major Hollywood players that have invested in several entertainment-related tech companies over the past year.
Whipclip allows users to find and share clips of just-aired TV shows and sporting events, as well as search for specific moments from past episodes. Clips can be shared within Whipclip’s app, but also on different platforms, such as Facebook. The company said its videos have been viewed more than 10 million times during the last three months within its app and on other websites.
“We think most of our usage will be outside of the app,” said Richard Rosenblatt, Whipclip’s chairman and chief executive, who founded the company last year with Ori Birnbaum. Rosenblatt previously founded Santa Monica’s Demand Media. “We’re also discussing with Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr how we can enhance our experience there.”
Whipclip has secured partnerships with major broadcast and cable networks such as ABC, CBS, FOX, Turner, A&E and Bloomberg, among others. The company has also signed deals with Universal Music Group and Sony Music, and has roughly10,000 music videos accessible to users.
Whipclip also works with dozens of Web publishers and allows those sites to embed Whipclip videos events in news stories almost immediately after they air on live television. A variety of different content is available, including reality competitions, comedies, dramas, talk shows and sporting events.
The arrangement is free for publishers, and Whipclip plans to use some of its new cash to build out new tools and features that make it easier for editors at those sites to find and manage content.
Though content owners are not compensated now, Rosenblatt said Whipclip plans to roll out an advertising model in the coming months that will allow all parties to generate revenue from video views.
“We’re the only app right now that has the legal right to share these TV shows,” said Rosenblatt.
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